‘ALL LIVES MATTER’
By Princesa Santos
Discussed: racial violence, homophobia
“All Lives Matter” is a collaborative protest poem that takes both formal poetic writing techniques and a sample of an informative article to express the detriment of using the phrase, “all lives matter.”
I People always ask, “What’s wrong with saying, ‘All Lives Matter?’” II “All Lives Matter,” but “the gays can burn.” “All Lives Matter,” but “go back to where you came from.” “All Lives Matter,” but “he fit the profile.” III “It is true that all lives matter, but it is equally true that not all lives are understood to matter.”* “If we jump too quickly to the universal formulation, ‘all lives matter,’ then we miss the fact that [diversified] people have not yet been included in the idea of ‘all lives.”’* IV As I turn on the TV, I wake up to see another dead black body, mocking me. When I walk through the streets, old men watch me. Anxiety overtakes me. I pray to God I’ll get home safely. Whenever I walk into a store employees follow me, always staying behind me. They fear that I may take something. *George Yancy and Judith Butler. “What's Wrong With ‘All Lives Matter?’” New York Times, New York Times, January 12, 2015, nytimes.com
The phrase “all lives matter” is a contemporary phrase that has been commonly used to combat the concept of “Black lives matter.” This poem is a creative way to express how detrimental and hypocritical the “all lives matter” phrase really is. The poem is composed of both rhythmical and formal writing techniques, along with a section of an informative article and answering the question “what’s wrong with saying ‘all lives matter?’” Between research on the topic of this phrase and grammatical editing, this piece took about a month to complete.
Princesa Santos is passionate teenage girl who loves writing, learning and challenges. When she was 9 years old, she came to New York City and her world was turned upside down. She had to re-learn how to speak and write in English. She had been living in Mexico for so long that she completely forgot everything she knew about English. Writing allows her to express her emotion, creativity and opinions. It’s also a way to help her calm down and face everyday challenges. Princesa joined Girls Write Now because she’s passionate about writing and there’s always room to improve!